Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival To Start Day 3 & Dinner At Hollywood Studio’s Brown Derby To Finish

If you’ve never been to Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival and you’re able to, I highly recommend planning your next Disney vacation between March and May to experience it. We were lucky enough to get down to Disney last May and we caught the tail end of the Flower and Garden Festival, but this year we were able to experience the kick off of the festival in all of its glory, from the concerts and food to the topiaries and our daughter’s favorite, the butterfly greenhouse! Each and every bit of Epcot we always love but the Spring additions made it that much better!   



A day at Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival 2015.



A day at Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival 2015!

In the past, we’ve experienced your typical Disney vacation with very humid and hot days trekking through the parks, so vacationing this time in March was a totally different experience. I’ve never had to wear a jacket or two while I was on vacation in Disney but that’s vacationing in March for you, never know what weather you’ll get. So while most of our days in Disney were much more mild warm to hot, sunny days, we had about 1 1/2 to 2 days where the weather was in the 60s warming up sometimes to the 70s. It was actually a really nice treat to be in Disney and not be in sweltering heat like we have been every vacation in the past, but all I have to say is thank goodness I packed some maternity pants and jackets because this mommy-to-be would have been rocking some men’s winter Disney attire for a few days!



Loved all of the topiaries, but this one by far was our little girl's favorite!



Loved all of the topiaries, but this one by far was our little girl’s favorite!

So with a few layers we were ready to start our chillier day in Epcot and enjoy all that the festival had to offer. First up was the creme de la creme for my little girl, she was going to meet her favorite friends, Mickey, Goofy, and Minnie, but not without a quick pit stop to see Pluto first, without a line I may add. Her visits were filled with frantic waves and jumping in excitement to tons of hugs and kisses galore, these are by far her best friends in the world and there’s certainly no denying how much she loves them. After paying her friends a visit we were on to experience Soarin’, well Mommy and Daddy anyway, meanwhile little one collected some pressed pennies for her new book. Afterwards it was back to rides for our little girl, from the The Land to Nemo and her favorite experience, the aquarium. By the time we finished up with the early morning rides we decided to head over and check out the butterfly greenhouse. This was amazing and really made our daughter’s Epcot day extra special. She just loved spotting all of the butterflies flying around her and landing in the flowers, so much so that we probably did a good three to four laps around the greenhouse.



A turkey leg lunch in America while Dan enjoyed some food stand treats!



A turkey leg lunch in America while Dan enjoyed his very first Fish and Chips!

After taking in the butterflies it was time for the World Showcase to open so we headed over to start our worldwide adventure which was going to be chock full of princess visits. Since opening time is around lunch time we managed to squeeze in Alice in Wonderland and Belle before we were all chomping at the bit for some lunch. While Dan headed over to try out the Fish and Chips in England and our little girl was kept satisfied with a German soft pretzel, I decided to go with another Turkey Leg in America. To be honest, gluten free lunch options that are up my alley are few and far between in Epcot so I’m usually stuck nibbling on snacks but this time around mommy and baby needed something more substantial. The turkey leg was just as delicious as always and made a perfectly filling lunch.



Gorgeous flowers around the water. Can you spot the Mickey?



Gorgeous flowers around the water. 

Once we were all refueled, we wandered through some more countries and finally arrived at my little girl’s favorite princess. Thankfully by this time it had started to warm up so we could all take our jackets off while waiting in the sunny line for Snow White, which normally is extremely unpleasant when it’s blistering hot but it was warmly welcomed on this day. Finally the big moment arrived and our little girl could give that long awaited hug to Snow White. 



A dream dessert for any gluten free, pregnant mommy!



A dream dessert for any gluten free, pregnant mommy!

It was a long morning so not surprisingly after Snow White our little one crashed giving Mommy and Daddy a chance to see the countries a bit more and then sit down for some much needed rest ourselves but not without a special snack for mommy. I eyed this treat up since I first saw the Flower and Garden Festival menu so to say I was a little excited that it was indeed gluten free would be an understatement. So on our way to find some quiet benches for the rest of nap time we stopped at the food stand in France and picked up a Gluten Free Strawberry Marshmallow Macaron! 



A Gluten Free Strawberry Marshmallow Macaron!



A Gluten Free Strawberry Marshmallow Macaron!

This macaron was AMAZING! I’m normally not a huge macaron person but this one was perfection. A light cookie with just the right amount of strawberry sweetness stuffed with a delicious marshmallow and a surprise strawberry jam center. It was a perfect little snack for this mommy-to-be, so perfect in fact I may have gotten another while we were in Epcot later in the trip! 



Dinner at Hollywood Brown Derby



Dinner at Hollywood Brown Derby

After a great half a day in Epcot it started to get more chilly so we headed back to Wilderness Lodge to get changed before dinner that night. Ever since we had made our dinner reservations months ago we’ve really been looking forward to experiencing the Hollywood Brown Derby for the first time. I’d read really good things about the food and we decided to splurge on a special meal for just us three this time around. Sadly though, from start to finish the meal was a disaster and the food did not live up to the hype. We arrived for our 5:15 reservation and were left chasing around our little one for about 45 minutes until we were seated, needless to say we were exhausted before dinner even started and weren’t too happy about the late start. Our waiter took forever to greet us and was less than pleasant the entire meal but nevertheless I held out hope that their Cobb salad would meet my high expectations. Well, I had a good hour and a half to build up more excitement for my salad because we hadn’t seen any food until then, not even bread. I even had to flag the manager down to complain and hurry things along so at least our little girl had her food in the meantime but to say I was starving would be an understatement.  



Creme brulee trio at Hollywood Brown Derby.



Creme brulee trio at Hollywood Brown Derby.

Finally, our food had arrived without any apology of the severe delay. The Gluten Free Cobb Salad was okay, nothing that I’d be too thrilled about and Dan sadly felt the same way about his meal. We quickly ordered dessert so we could get out of there before it got too late but it seems quickly doesn’t exist in that restaurant. My premade Creme Brulee trio took quite awhile to arrive and was again pretty underwhelming. As a whole, we most certainly would never dine at Brown Derby again not only because the service was terrible, I mean literally the worst we’d seen in Disney where each and every meal we’d ever had has been fantastic, but also because the food we felt didn’t warrant 2 meals from the dining plan. 

It was an unfortunate ending to a really great day but thankfully that night we were able to catch a glimpse of the Magic Kingdom fireworks from our nice and warm room. Can’t ask for a better ending to a day then that! Stay tuned for more Disney fun!

Lindsay (26 weeks)

Not All Pregnancy Cravings Can Be Gluten Free

It’s been a long four years and some months since my diet changed over night. One day I literally woke up and wheat and gluten were long gone. But along with the sad disappearance of my once happy diet were the horrible symptoms that seemed to plague me for years on end. I can definitely say that every single day since day 1 has been a challenge; I have to choose every day to live this healthier lifestyle for myself, and that’s where will power comes in handy. Thankfully, I guess I have a ton of it because I’ve never cheated once since the big change many moons ago.

Changing your diet though for medical reasons, either your diagnosis told you to do it or your symptoms did, is totally different motivation to stay strong than just following a new diet fad. Once I saw the huge change in my quality of life I knew that living wheat and gluten free for me was a change for forever, not for a few months. Accepting that from my early twenties until eternity I’d be a little different and have to live a life that’s a little bit harder was always the hardest concept to accept and still is, but nothing beats feeling healthier inside and out. 

Even though the rewards have been huge for me it doesn’t mean that there haven’t been certain life instances that make living wheat and gluten free more frustrating and difficult. Many a social situation has been a source of slight frustration, mainly weddings and dinner parties where you always feel like the world just isn’t made for you. But I have to say the hardest times that have challenged my different lifestyle the most are my pregnancies. Living gluten free without worrying about nutrition for you and a baby, without feeling tremendously more hungry than you normally would, and without pregnancy cravings that will drive you mad if you don’t get something that tastes similar is a challenge that was completely new to me a few years ago.

Having a healthy and happy gluten free pregnancy is 100% possible but it doesn’t mean that you’re not frustrated from time to time and that your will power is truly put to the test. Faced with already an extremely picky palette, daily sickness, and other appetite suppressing feelings, on many occasions during both of my pregnancies I looked at my diet with more frustration than I had in years. I’d never wanted to cheat my diet more than I had during my pregnancies partly to just survive the really sick days and on the opposite side to enjoy filling foods that I couldn’t stop craving that I knew would fill my always hungry belly. Being alone in feeling this way was the most difficult part of all and hence the birth of my blog, I wanted to create a place for other mom’s and mom-to-be’s to share their triumphs and tribulations about gluten free living, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

So today I wanted to share my biggest gluten cravings this pregnancy, you know the ones that make me wish I wasn’t gluten free for just a day so baby and mommy could eat safely and happily. Yes, yes I know this is a nightmare to even think about the what ifs but this is pregnancy, not every craving can be so easily gluten free, and this is a real gluten free life where thins aren’t always easy.   

Donuts. Ah, my arch nemesis. I never frequented Dunkin Donuts on a daily basis but donuts popped up here and there often enough during my gluten days. Since going gluten free, I’ve certainly found a substitution that makes me more than happy when I really need it but there are times when we get our little girl a special holiday donut or when I saw a gigantic chocolate frosted donut with sprinkles at Epcot that makes things so much harder for me. Gluten free donuts are all cake donuts which certainly come close to pre-packaged varieties in the grocery store but they don’t hold a candle to the light and airy ones at Dunkin Donuts. Maybe one day I’ll be seeing those light and airy pastries again outside of my dreams, but for now, Katz gluten free donuts will fill that craving just fine.  

Hoagies. This is a toughie. Yes, I can certainly make myself a lunch meat sandwich on a gluten free roll or baguette but I miss so much being able to go to our local Italian hoagie place and order a delicious thick roll stuffed with all of the hoagie fixings. It’s not the convenience that I miss so much, though it is definitely nice to not have to make everything yourself, but let’s face it, I’ve yet to meet a gluten free hoagie roll or even gluten free rolls that even come close to those delectable rolls that hold a hoagie so well. This has been a huge craving this pregnancy and while my husband has been great getting me gluten free lunch meats from time to time, they’re nothing like the hoagies from my memory.

Pizza. There are certainly plenty of gluten free pizza options out there, homemade, store bought, and restaurant take out included, but can any of us honestly say that we don’t look at the massive pies that come out of the pizza ovens and back at our gluten free individual, thin crust pies with disappoint, I was a pizza crust lover, I loved getting to the edge of the pizza and nibbling at the doughy crust. I’ve never met a gluten free pizza that offers that same feeling but I have to say I’ve been fortunate to come across a few good substitutions that although don’t offer that doughy pizza feel do come pretty close in look and taste. While I make pizzas often myself, I do enjoy a store bought Freschetta Gluten Free Pizza and a take out pie from Mama Mia Trattoria

I’d be lying if I said that gluten free living is easy peasy; while the rewards and benefits always outweigh any of the challenges and obstacles, it certainly doesn’t mean that it’s an easy road. Living a lifestyle that’s different from the majority of everyone around us is tough and only gets tougher when you’re going through life changing events like a pregnancy. Life gets tougher, true, but it doesn’t become impossible. I many a time this pregnancy, more so than my last, have talked about this with my husband and he is a good reminder of why I’m on this path to begin with. Living this way is the best thing for me and my baby and no matter how difficult, challenging, and lonely it may feel, it’s to hard to always see it but it is completely worth it. My husband is a great calming influence for me and always lets me vent my frustrations but sharing all of these feelings with you is what’s most important. Hopefully my steps down this path can help you now or later in life. Like I’ve always said, pregnancy is a tough time for many of us but when you’re gluten free it’s even tougher so let other mommy-to-bes and seasoned moms out there be a support for you and that little one. 

Sincerely,

Lindsay (25 weeks)

Top 5 Gluten Free Friendly, Pregnancy Cravings

Pregnant or not I get my fair share of cravings, but nothing beats that relentless hankering that won’t seem to get out of your mind or belly until you satisfy it. Yup, that’s a pregnancy craving! During both my first and now second pregnancies I ate pretty similarly, never really craving anything bizarre but always pulling from both sweet and salty sides. Since I’ve been strictly gluten free for almost five years now my wants from my old gluten diet are minimal on a regular day but what I’ve noticed is that while pregnant, gluten or not I’ve wanted so many things that I just can’t have. Your will power is definitely put to the test when you’re gluten free and pregnant so I thought I’d fill you in on my top gluten free cravings or cravings that can be easily satisfied gluten free and my top gluten cravings that just in no way, shape, or form can be satisfied the same. So let’s start off with some fun, gluten free friendly pregnancy cravings that we can all enjoy safely!  

5. First a sweet, than a salty snack. Okay I have to admit, I’ve always been somebody who needs to eat something salty after something sweet or vice versa, I mean can you ask for a better balance than that?!?! My favorite pairing by far has been a bite of ice cream and some baked potato chips not far behind. Some of my favorite brands that offer gluten free varieties are Turkey Hill and Herrs, both of which have convenient allergen lists on their websites and reliable ingredient labels on their products. Check these lists out here and pick out your favorites!

4. Pickles. Ah, my guiltiest pleasure in the salt department. I love some dill pickles but so many of them have gluten in them making it really difficult to indulge. One brand that I’ve always eaten has been Claussens, but in recent months Kraft’s labeling policies have changed and Claussens now may have sources of gluten thanks to the spices in the ingredients. After some lengthy discussion with Kraft they said nothing has changed from their suppliers so Claussens are still fine for now but sadly their outside suppliers can make changes at any point unbeknownst to us consumers. I’ve looked into other delicious dill pickles and I know Boar’s Head offers gluten free dills if you can find them so their on my list of must finds!

3. Salads, in all shapes and forms. Yes, not everything that I’ve been craving has been in snack form. Thankfully, I’ve been able to get my daily dose of fruits and veggies through a fresh fruit salad or perfectly assembled cobb, antipasto, or just plain old tomato and lettuce salad. I’ve always loved salads but you just never know what pregnant you will and won’t love so it’s been a welcomed craving to still want these. Sadly, my acid reflux has risen to intolerable proportions so fruit salads have taken a hiatus until the acid reflux goes away or baby arrives, whichever comes first. 



photo 1



Toscano’s Ristorante Antipasto Salad 

2. Disney Dole Whip. Okay so I realize I’m not in Disney World anymore but I still don’t want to wake up from that beautiful dream of having some of the tastiest, pregnancy friendly treats right at my fingertips at all times. By far my favorite Disney treat, pregnant or not, is the Dole Whip but I have to say this little girl and her mommy wish that we had endless Dole Whips at our beck and call right now. With Dole Whips thousands of miles away, I’ll have to remember fondly the swirled vanilla and pineapple ice cream floating in refreshingly sweet pineapple juice!



A Gluten Free Dole Whip Just For Mommy-To-Be!



A Gluten Free Dole Whip Just For Mommy-To-Be!

1. Bagels, bagels, bagels. This is absolutely my number one craving; in fact I could eat a bagel for breakfast, lunch, and dinner happily at one point in my pregnancy. To be honest, I think this one developed more out of necessity and survival than actual desire thanks to some pretty nasty all day sickness. Either way, bagels have definitely become one of my staples, filling my belly for more than 5 seconds after either breakfast or lunch. Now that they’ve appeared in my local Whole Foods, my favorite go to gluten free bagels are those by Sweet Note, an authentic bagel taste and texture with a crispy outside and chewy middle. 



Sweet Note Bagels



Sweet Note Bagels, a gluten free consumer’s dream!

6 months in and eating is still a challenge for me but for all different reasons. While my nausea and sickness has seemed to subside for the most part, acid reflux has become a major player these days so I really have to watch my acid inducing food intake. Besides that though, even though I’m definitely still very particular about what I eat, I’m really trying to enjoy pregnancy eating and indulge when I can in some gluten free treats here and there.

Being gluten free and pregnant is certainly not easy, especially when those non-gluten free cravings hit, but thankfully I’ve had many a craving that can be easily satisfied with a little gluten free magic. Stay tuned for some gluten cravings that are a little tougher to make disappear. 

Sincerely,

Lindsay (25 weeks)

From First Roller Coasters & Gluten Free Slushies To All You Can Eat Ohana Dinner & Fireworks, A Perfect Disney Day!

Even though we’re not in Disney anymore doesn’t mean the magic is completely gone. And as we’re submerged deep in the trenches of potty training our little girl I just love taking some time and going through the tons of pictures and videos that we have from our most recent trip. Thanks to my blog, I get to relive my Disney days more often and share them with our little girl who even though loved every bit of Disney then, seems to be more than happy to be back in her normal routine, even taking huge steps towards potty training! So without further ado, today I’m taking you along on one of our Magic Kingdom days on our Disney 2015 vacation which was filled with rides, parades, pool time, and delicious gluten free food!



22 Weeks with Baby #2 in Disney World



22 Weeks with Baby #2 in Disney World

Since Magic Kingdom is home to some of our little girl’s favorite rides, and honestly mine too, we always try to sneak in as much time there as possible. Our second day in Disney was the perfect opportunity for an extra magic hour Magic Kingdom morning, pool time in the afternoon, dinner across the lake at the Polynesian, and a night filled with some rides, a parade, and fireworks too! After a gluten free breakfast sandwich courtesy of Roaring Forks at our home resort of Wilderness Lodge, we headed out to start our day with an early morning boat ride over to our favorite park and caught the opening show just in time. When the rush inside commenced, we took our time making our way back to hop on some non-fastpassed rides before the pre-planned ride surprises we had for our little girl. The biggest surprise of all was the Barnstormer which was up first so Dan took our growing toddler on her very first fast ride and pregnant mommy stood down below crossing her fingers that only smiles would walk through the gate, no tears. Just moments later I saw them soaring down the ride, smiling and seeming like they had plenty of fun, whew. It was a great morning filled with plenty of rides, some new to our little girl, and character visits that just melt my heart when I look back at them.

With a couple of hours in for the day already, we had an early lunch reservation at Be Our Guest so we headed over to check in and order our meals at the kiosks. An early lunch was just what we needed after our early start so after picking some grilled cheese and peach applesauce for little one, mommy decided on the Gluten Free Carved Turkey Sandwich with the Cream Puff for dessert that I thought our little girl might enjoy as well. After ordering, we headed into the rooms and picked a table in the ballroom right in front of the window where we could overlook the falling snow, sadly not a very foreign sight for us since we just left a snow storm but this version was much more magical and less cold too. 



Lunch in the ballroom at Be Our Guest!



Gluten free carved turkey sandwich for lunch in the ballroom at Be Our Guest!

Soon enough our meals had arrived, my plate chock full of sandwich and delicious fries that pair perfectly with the dijon mayonnaise, if you haven’t tried this you absolutely should try it. The sandwich was pretty good, a little too much meat for me, more a side effect of me pregnant than my normal preferences, so I took off a couple huge pieces of turkey to make it more manageable for my sensitive self. But the star on the plate for me by far if you couldn’t have guessed it by now were the fries, perfectly seasoned and crispy and like I said delicious when you dip them in a side of the dijon mayonnaise that comes on the sandwich. The dessert was just as tasty as I remembered, a little too much lemon filling, in fact I’d probably prefer a plain old, regular cream puff, but nonetheless it’s just a real treat to enjoy a pastry along side my little family. As we finished dessert, we packed up and headed out to enjoy some more of Magic Kingdom before our sleeping beauty fell under her nap time spell.       



Chesire Cat Lemonade Slushie



Cheshire Cafe Gluten Free Lemonade Slushie

A few short rides later and without too much of a delay, nap time was upon us so Dan parked me and little one in a shaded spot in Tomorrowland, brought over a nice cool treat, and headed off to hop on the Mine Train while I held down the fort. Ah that slushie, what a fond memory; a cool, tart drink from Cheshire Cafe that is a perfect treat on a hot day. On a previous trip I had the Raspberry-Lemonade Slushie drink but apparently this time the ingredients had changed and it was off limits so it was the Lemonade Slushie for me. So with my little girl sleeping peacefully, just like a Disney princess out of the movies, I rested my sore feet and enjoyed my Lemonade Slushie! Soon enough Dan appeared after his Mine Train fastpass and rested along side me for a little bit longer until we decided to head out for an afternoon swim between nap time and dinner. 



Day 2 Ohana Dinner (1)



Ohana Salad, gluten free and so delicious!

It was a perfect morning at Magic Kingdom thankfully followed with a pretty good nap for our little girl so we decided to pop by the pool before we had to head out for dinner over at the Polynesian. Our little girl is definitely her Mommy and Daddy’s daughter as she loves the pool and probably would’ve loved a whole day there but thankfully we were able to sneak in at least some time, even if we had to get ready for dinner at record speed. After a bit of chaos on the transportation front, thanks to some downtime with the monorail, we finally arrived at Ohana with very big appetites. Soon enough we were seated, visited by the chef, and brought out our first course, an absolutely delicious gluten free island salad that even our little girl enjoyed. Every now and then she’ll request some of my salads that I eat so I wasn’t completely surprised when she liked it but the requests kept coming for more so I was very impressed with the toddler stamp of approval on Ohana’s salad. While I’m usually not a huge fan of sweet salad dressing on my salad, this one was amazing, which was probably why our little girl loved it so much! Needless to say, this salad didn’t stand a chance at our table especially since I’ve been on a huge salad kick the past few months, so I made sure to help myself to plenty of it.



Day 2 Ohana Dinner (2)



Warmed gluten free rolls with butter delivered right on time at Ohana!

While Dan indulged in some dumplings and bread, I happily continued to enjoy some of the salad until my warmed gluten free rolls arrived. I’m very picky when it comes to gluten free bread, as I’m sure many of my fellow gluten free diners are too, so I was pleasantly surprised to be treated with perfectly warmed, dinner rolls that weren’t tough like bricks or crumble apart in my hands. They paired perfectly with the Ohana butter and were an excellent complement to my favorite dish, the salad!



Day 2 Ohana Dinner (3)



Ohana gluten free seasoned vegetables and chicken wings!

Next round of food arrived for the non-gluten free eaters and although the lomein looked delicious and seemed to be a big winner with our little girl, I was happily delighted with my gluten free plate of vegetables and chicken wings. The chicken wings were crispy and well seasoned and could even be accompanied with the gluten free sauce that was brought out too. I have to say I wish that they could put together a gluten free lomein, kind of like the amazing noodle dish at Kona Cafe just using rice noodles and gluten free sauce because I think it would a great non-meat addition to the meal, but all in all it’s a real pleasure to see chefs really put forth a huge effort to create tasty and safe food for all of their diners.



Dinner at Ohana



Dinner at Ohana would not have been complete with fresh fruit, vanilla ice cream, and enjoy life chocolate cookies!

I should mention that between the chicken wings and dessert was the main course of skewer meats. By this point for me I was so filled with salad, bread, and chicken wings that I only nibbled a little on the chicken skewer but other than that I just saved room for dessert. Soon enough our final course arrived and for me a gluten free chocolate cookie, vanilla ice cream, and fresh fruit concoction. I loved the chocolate cookies which are Enjoy Life, they’re soft and brownie like and perfect with the fruit and ice cream. And even though she got her very own special dessert, a certain little girl couldn’t stop nibbling on mommies fresh fruit. A sweet finish to a delicious dinner at Ohana! It was a perfect dinner for everyone, and none of us left there hungry so we’ll definitely be considering this one again for our next trip, especially since our little girl was such a huge fan of so many of the dishes!



Nighttime Mommy and little girl Dumbo ride.



Nighttime Mommy and little girl Dumbo ride.

Well fed and rested we decided to head over to Magic Kingdom for a little nighttime fun. We got back over to the park just in time for the electrical parade where our little Snow White was greeted by Snow White herself and were able to get on a few rides like one of our favorites, Dumbo, a great one to go on at nighttime. And thanks to earlier parade and firework times in the first week in March we were able to catch the fireworks live and in person for the first time in quite awhile. Dan and I felt like we were little kids again seeing the Disney fireworks thanks to the new vantage point in Fantasyland and the look of sheer amazement in our daughter’s face. That’s why we go to Disney, to see that look of pure happiness and magic in our daughter’s eyes!

It was a long but great second day, but we were more than ready to head back for some much needed sleep. Stay tuned for more Disney adventures! 

Sincerely,

Lindsay (25 weeks)

22 And 23 Weeks With Baby #2 In Disney World!

Doing Disney World pregnant is no easy feat I’ll admit that but the smorgasbord of food choices and plethora of fun to be had makes the slower pace and aches and pains totally worth it. We took advantage of every bit Disney had to offer despite my blossoming belly and I’m so glad that we did. From delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinners, oh and snacks too, to fun rides and shows that are right up my alley pregnant or not, we gave our little girl a fantastic vacation to remember before we add her little sister to the mix. 



22 Weeks in Disney World



22 Weeks with Baby #2 in Disney World

And let’s not forget the little girl with the obstructed view of Disney World; she had a fantastic time as well in mommy’s belly, enjoying some different foods, flip flopping on Dumbo and the Magic Carpets, and bopping around to the music of the Electrical Parade at night. There’s no doubt in my mind that we have another little Disney lover on our hands already, something that her sister will be happy to share with her! 



23 Weeks in Disney World



23 Weeks with Baby #2 in Disney World

As I neared 6 months, I definitely started to feel the aches and pains that come around at that time. While I was pregnant with our little girl I had some sciatic pain which reared its ugly head this time too, but right before we left for our vacation. With some bed rest, hot showers and baths, and tylenol, thankfully the pain went away just in time to enjoy our trip. Despite the aches of pains of just me and baby getting larger, there are those truly amazing moments of feeling this little girl swirling around and giving some pretty big kicks just to remind me that she’s there. As tough as the weeks will be from this point on, feeling her move like that is such a sweet reminder of why being a mother is my favorite role in this world!

A few more details of what 22 and 23 weeks looked like in Disney World:

  • Go to gluten free foods: Bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwiches courtesy of Roaring Fork, my absolute favorite: Dole Whips, and I can’t forget the roasted nuts and legendary Disney popcorn.
  • How am I sleeping?: While we were away I had a little bed buddy join me in the form of a restless, tossing and turning toddler. The only time our little girl sleeps with one of us is on vacation so it’s a special treat for all parties involved. Don’t get me wrong, I love snuggling up with my little girl but she is definitely a restless sleeper and I’m an extremely light one, especially while pregnant, so that meant mommy barely slept while in Disney. There are worse reasons to not sleep though, so no complaints here since I got to sneak in some extra special bedtime snuggles with my little girl.
  • How’s baby doing?: Mommy and baby went for our most recent check up the day after our return from Disney which was excellent timing since I was antsy to make sure she fared okay from the trip. All seemed to be progressing well size wise but this little one of mine is quite the swimmer, making heartbeats pretty tough to clock in. My little fishy’s heartbeat is strong and healthy though!
  • How’s mommy feeling?: This mommy-to-be is definitely getting more sore and tired but still trudging through, especially while in Disney. I have to say I was definitely a trooper even though my feet were incredibly sore and pretty swollen by the end of our trip. All in all though, as I just turned the 6 month corner, I have to say I’m feeling pretty good, just slowing down a bit now.
  • A little sister is on the way!: We did the big reveal on the blog of who Baby #2 will be and we couldn’t have been more excited to share the news with everyone else. We put a little Disney magic into the big reveal so check it out if you missed it last week.

Sincerely,

Lindsay (24 weeks)

Check Out My Stories And Many Others On Let’s Talk Mommy!

Jenny over at Let’s Talk Mommy is hosting a blog hop for fellow bloggers out there. Just share two of your favorite posts and meet some new bloggers too! Check out my two favorite posts about my Little One’s Birth and Being A C-Section Mommy over on Let’s Talk Mommy this week. A huge thank you to Jenny for this great opportunity to share my stories and read some new ones too!

Let's Talk Mommy
 Sincerely, 
 
Lindsay (24 weeks)

March Is A Big Birthday Month Around Here! Time For Family Fun And A Gluten Free Cake By Whole Foods Market Bake Shop!

The winter months are a busy time for birthdays in our family. While little one has her birthday around Christmas, both Dan and I are March babies and are actually separated by only a few days, well a few years and a few days, but the dates themselves are only a few days apart. We love that we’re so close and we can have one big celebration together but this year with our Disney vacation being right around that time, our birthdays kind of came and went without too much fuss. Disney was really our big celebration but we decided when we got home to have a small family get together to talk about Disney and do a little birthday dinner and cake for both of us.

So this past weekend, we got together at my parent’s house for my dad’s homemade pizza, yes he even makes gluten free for me!, and cakes too. Little one couldn’t have been happier to be reunited with her grandparents and some of her cousins, as evident by her running hugs to greet each and every one. She rarely gets to be around other kids especially during the winter months since we steer away from play places so it’s always a treat to play with her cousins who I hate to admit can be a little more fun for her than her mommy and daddy. After some playtime, we wrangled the kids up and settled in for some delicious homemade pizza. My dad’s pizzas are one of those prominent food memories that I mention from time to time. Most of a Sunday was spent prepping the dough and toppings and making tons and tons of pizzas for each of us, filling the house with that pizzeria aroma; keep in mind that at those times all of his pizzas were filled with gluten, so since then my dad has really gone out of his way to make any and all of his dishes gluten free when we’re there and the pizzas have been no exception. So after cutting up some pizza for little one, I settled in to enjoy my gluten free personal pie that was waiting for me.



Whole Foods Market Bake Shop gluten free birthday cake!



Whole Foods Market Bake Shop gluten free birthday cake!

The pizza was delicious as always but I can’t lie I couldn’t contain my excitement for my extra special gluten free birthday cake that was waiting for me in the kitchen. With the craziness of our Disney vacation I didn’t have time to bake our cakes this year so we went store bought all the way. Dan picked a delicious looking triple chocolate cake that seemed to get rave reviews from the rest of the family and I decided on this sprinkle, Confetti Cake by Whole Foods that I’ve been eyeing for probably a few years now, waiting for an excuse to try it. I’ve always loved Whole Foods gluten free treats in their bake shop so I figured it might be a safe gamble to splurge on the $12.99 layered cake for my birthday.



Gluten Free Sprinkle Cake



Gluten Free Sprinkle Cake

The gluten free masterpiece is two layers of vanilla cake with a vanilla meringue icing, all covered with my favorite type of sprinkle. It’s definitely big enough for a number of people to dive into but thankfully not too many of our diners stole any of my gluten free cake, except that is a kid or two who couldn’t stand the sprinkled appearance. So with a quick happy birthday to both Dan and I, we dove into our cakes and the table grew silent with everybody’s mouth full of sweets of all kinds. Okay while most of the table was enjoying the chocolate cake, our little girl included, myself and my non-gluten free nephew nibbled on gluten free sprinkle cake.



I love layered cakes!



I love layered cakes, especially when they’re covered in sprinkles!

I have to say what captured me first with this cake was how pretty and delicious it looked from the outside, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was equally impressed with the inside of the cake too. Two moist and firm (not crumbly) layers of vanilla cake with generous helpings of the not too sweet icing was really a perfect combination. I’m not normally a huge cake person but this cake was a definite winner for me, especially since I finished my piece without a problem. Honestly, this was the first time I’ve bought a birthday cake for myself since going gluten free, so it was a real treat to be able to buy a beautiful and delicious cake rather than spend the day in the kitchen baking my own. I’ll definitely keep this one in mind for next year’s birthday or maybe a special event between now and then too!

After our Disney fun, this was the perfect way to celebrate our birthdays, especially watching our little girl run toe to toe with her three boy cousins. So as our birthday season comes to a close we can’t help but think of what next year’s birthdays will look like. It’s so exciting to know that this time next year we’ll two little girls to share in the celebration. It’s just amazing how quickly life changes and ours is certainly changing drastically very soon!

So here’s a Happy Birthday to my loving husband, you’re my absolute best friend and an amazing father to our little girl. I couldn’t  have ever dreamed that my life would look this beautiful but I’m so lucky that it does, and that’s all thanks to you. Cheers to a fantastic birthday this year and many more to come! We love you!

Sincerely,

Lindsay (24 weeks)

Doing Disney World Gluten Free & Pregnant: Our First Adventures

Not too long ago, pre-babies, Dan and I ventured to Europe and Disney World while I was pregnant with our first little one. We created so many amazing adventures with little one in my belly, ones that she’ll surely love hearing about down the road. Although they were both difficult for completely different reasons, they were so worth it for us to add to our memory book. Just as we were trying for our second baby we had been in talks for our 2015 vacation. We knew we wanted to do another Disney trip but the timing was of course a question. With no luck on the positive pregnancy test front yet we bit the bullet and booked our vacation for spring and two days later learned the excited news. We were so thrilled about the positive test result that we had almost forgotten we had planned a vacation that would put me nicely in my third trimester which for me was a no go. The next day we bumped up our vacation to a new time of year we hadn’t experienced in Disney yet and signed ourselves up for another vacation while expecting.

As the one who was actually expecting, I couldn’t have been more excited to be pregnant and bring my family to Disney again but I have to admit my constant nerves about the unexpected. You just never know how your pregnancy will go and planning a vacation, especially one like Disney where the weather can be really hot and uncomfortable and the intensity level is well, less than relaxing, is a pretty nerve wracking undertaking. Nonetheless, this mommy-to-be was Disney bound with our little toddler who’s surely a Disney baby and our new little one who would get to share a similar story with her sister of her visit in mommy’s belly, how cool?!?! I couldn’t help but be so excited for the vacation ahead, to experience the magic of Disney, create more family memories that will last a lifetime, and enjoy one last trip as a family of three before our new addition makes her appearance.



Day 1



Disney World at 22 weeks with Baby #2

So as I turned into my 22nd week, I packed my maternity attire and emergency supplies and we were off to experience the magic of Disney. We headed out nice and early for the first flight of the day so we could get in a nice full first day. We all made it through the flight in one piece and were greeted in Orlando with warm and sunny weather, a stark difference from the impending snowstorm in the Northeast. We quickly switched into some summer clothes and were greeted by the Magical Express who whisked us away to our home away from home, the Wilderness Lodge. With magic bands on our wrists, we were ready to start our Disney adventure and couldn’t wait to head over to the Magic Kingdom to ring in our trip.      

By the time we had checked in and caught the boat over to Magic Kingdom it was lunch time so we grabbed little one a quick lunch and mommy a little snack too from Roaring Fork at Wilderness Lodge and decided to hop on a few rides first before we lunched on something more substantial. Since our little girl’s favorite attractions are by far those in Fantasyland we headed that way first and caught a few Disney staples before this mommy-to-be was in desperate need of sustenance. For the first lunch of our trip we decided on one of my all time favorites, the Turkey Leg from the Frontierland cart over by Splash Mountain which is also conveniently located right next to a Mickey Pretzel stand that was music to our little girl’s ears.



Mommy & baby with a giant turkey leg.



Mommy & baby with a giant turkey leg.

I manned the pretzel stand and grabbed our little girl her very own Mickey pretzel, which are sadly not gluten free, while Dan checked over the turkey leg ingredients and picked up lunch for us. I’m normally not a huge meat eater, especially while pregnant, but just the thought of a delicious, juicy turkey leg made my mouth water so I knew it would be the perfect fit for lunch for me. And it was just as delicious as in my memory, thanks to the smoking it was a juicy cross between ham and turkey that is a hugely satisfying lunch for anyone out there. Since I hardly ever put a significant dent in a Disney turkey leg Dan agreed to share one for our lunch especially since we were eating an earlier dinner at Hollywood Studios. With both of us devouring the turkey leg, after some time sitting in the shade the turkey leg was no more and the Mickey pretzel, well didn’t really resemble Mickey too well after my little girl was through with it. With Daddy’s finishing touches on the pretzel we were off to enjoy a bit more of Magic Kingdom before a little afternoon nap. 

We had a fantastic couple of hours in Magic Kingdom to kick off our vacation and were really looking forward to a perfect first dinner at 50s Prime Time Cafe. We caught our bus over to Hollywood Studios without too much of a delay and arrived for our dinner more or less on time, checked in, and waited a bit too long for our table to be ready. Our little girl was less than patient waiting for our table, pure exhaustion was setting in, which made the waiting a lot more painful, but thankfully we were called back and settled in without too much trouble. I requested to speak to the chef since our waitress hadn’t heard anything about my allergy free fried chicken pre-order which unfortunately was the same response from the chef. Despite my ordering ahead of time via email and phone, the chef told us that he hadn’t heard anything about the allergy order, which was so frustrating for me especially since I had taken all of the extra steps to make dinner easier. Last time this had happened the chef told us he couldn’t make the chicken for me but thankfully this chef was so accommodating and just told us it would take a little while but I could absolutely enjoy the chicken. So without too much delay my Gluten Free Fried Chicken had arrived piping hot and with an allergy pick sticking out of it.



50s Fried Chicken



Hollywood Studios, 50s Prime Time Cafe Gluten Free Fried Chicken

The chicken was just as tasty as I had remembered, crispy coating covering the juicy, tender meat inside. It was perfectly complemented with a garlicky mashed potato and crispy green beans, which my little girl was appreciative of enjoying as well. All together my entree was delicious but I do wish that my extra homework ahead of time paid off and not only guaranteed me my meal but also limited our wait too. Thankfully this dinner we got lucky and had a great chef who looked just as frustrated as we did when he heard what had happened but nonetheless put together a great gluten free meal for me.



Hollywood Studios, 50s Prime Time Cafe Gluten Free Dad's Brownie Sundae



Hollywood Studios, 50s Prime Time Cafe Gluten Free Dad’s Brownie Sundae

We certainly couldn’t finish our dinner at 50s without a Gluten Free Dad’s Brownie Sundae so it was one sundae for us three to split and trust me there’s more than enough to do just that. A perfect gluten free brownie smothered in all kinds of fixings, from hot fudge to vanilla ice cream and a mountain of whipped cream to all kinds of candies. It was perfection, my only complaint was the missing popcorn topping which may or may not still come on the sundae, not sure about that one, but that aside, the sundae was delicious! 

Our first day of our Disney vacation was certainly a magical one filled with lots of smiles, delicious gluten free and non-gluten free food, and an extra special purple Mickey balloon for an extra special little girl. After so much excitement on our first day we called it an early night and relaxed back at our room only to find the biggest surprise of all, our room was in perfect view of Magic Kingdom’s firework show. With such an amazing surprise, we pushed off bedtime a bit and snuggled together on our balcony to enjoy the amazing firework show. Can’t ask for a better ending to our first day than that! Stay tuned for more Disney updates from our 2015 Disney vacation!

Sincerely,

Lindsay (24 weeks)

Wonderful Disney Vacation As A Family Of Three! Can’t Wait For Our Next One With Our New Little….

We’re back from our last vacation as a family of three! Every ounce of our trip was filled with so much magic and so many memories. Our little girl was in love with every bit of Disney from the big castle and seeing all of her friends to riding rides and watching parades, there is truly no better feeling than watching your little one love something so much! We certainly did create memories for a lifetime and I can’t wait to tell our second little one of their first unofficial trip to Disney in mommy’s belly. 



Couldn't love my family more!



Couldn’t love my family more!

It’s hard to believe next time we venture down to Disney we’ll be a four rather than a three but we couldn’t be more excited to make even more Disney memories with our little one and her new baby sister. That’s right! We’re having a little girl! While I never really had a “feeling” of what this little one might be I would’ve sworn it was a boy judging by how different I had felt this pregnancy from my first but after two ultrasounds confirming it we are definitely going to be welcoming our second little girl this summer! I’m so in love with our first little girl and I just can’t wait to shower our new little one with just as much love. 



Little one is going to have a little sister coming this summer!



Little one is going to have a little sister coming this summer!

Stay tuned for more pregnancy updates and Disney gluten free recaps! 

Sincerely,

Lindsay (23 weeks)

 

We’ve Reached The 21 Week Mark!

I have to say this pregnancy has ticked by pretty slowly for me, probably because we’ve had a freezing cold winter keeping us cooped up inside and also because this mommy-to-be hasn’t really felt too good since day 1. But I’m happy to report that we’ve passed the halfway mark and we’re now headed into countdown mode. Baby is moving around like crazy, even letting daddy feel a kick for the first time! After now experiencing two totally different pregnancies, I can officially concur that pregnancy as a whole is a crazy, roller coaster ride with tons of ups and downs, both emotional and physical, but by far the peak of each one is feeling that little one swirling around and kicking inside, there’s nothing more euphoric than that feeling. 



21 Weeks with Baby #2



21 Weeks with Baby #2

As baby and mommy grow, we just keep getting busier and busier over here, but that’s how we like it! It’s hard to believe that Disney is just around the corner and then soon after comes Easter, spring time which means plenty of outdoor time finally, Memorial Day parades, and then some early summer adventures before baby comes. We’re in for some eventful and exciting weeks and months ahead! But for now I just wanted to catch you up on how I’ve been feeling now that I’m nestled snugly in my 2nd trimester!

 

 

 

 

A few more details of what 21 weeks looks like in our house:

  • Go to gluten free foods: Absolutely loving my Sweet Note Bagels with cream cheese!, lots and lots of salads with Marie’s Blue Cheese Dressing or Olive Garden’s Italian Dressing, some of my favorites from Toscano’s Ristorante vodka rigatoni and their antipasto salad, Schar wafer cookies are one of my favorite go to snacks right now, and slowly but surely I’m getting back into making smoothies
  • How am I sleeping?: This is hit or miss with me, some days are definitely better than others and waking up to go to the bathroom at least once is certainly not helping.
  • What’s happening in our world this week: Being cooped up inside because of our freezing cold temperatures is certainly no fun by myself let alone with an ancy toddler who just wants to run around but we’re making the best of it with lots of coloring, painting, reading, and tv and movie time. Feel free to share how you keep your 2 year old busy and happy when you’re cooped up for the winter. 
  • The big secret has been revealed, well kind of: We finally know who our second little one is and I have to say it’s the sweetest secret that we’ve gotten to share just us three and a few others too. Now we have the biggest task ahead, picking a name! We have our list started and a few front runners have emerged so we should be narrowing down on that one pretty soon but as far as the final name choice, we’re keeping that between just us three until baby arrives and meets the rest of our family and friends. 
  • What I love most at this point: Baby seems to be moving constantly these days giving me plenty of swirls and twirls but even some notable belly jump kicks in there too. But my favorite moment recently is when Dan was able to feel baby for the first time, he’s been a second too late for every single other feeling until this week when he got a little reminder of the little one that’s been living in my belly!

Sincerely,

Lindsay (21 weeks)

 

 

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